NASA postpones Dawn spacecraft launch

Sep 24, 2007
NASA postpones Dawn spacecraft launch

The launch of NASA's Dawn spacecraft was postponed Monday because of weekend fueling delays.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration officials said the Wednesday launch of the spacecraft aboard a Delta II rocket from the Kennedy Space Center was postponed 24 hours because fueling of the rocket's second stage was unable to be completed Sunday because of weather conditions.

The launch was re-scheduled for a 29-minute span beginning at 7:20 a.m. EDT Thursday.

Dawn's goal is to characterize the cosmology of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating the massive asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres, both of which are in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Scientists theorize Vesta and Ceres were budding planets that followed different evolutionary paths during the solar system's first few million years. By investigating two diverse asteroids during its eight-year flight, the Dawn mission is expected to resolve some of the mysteries of planetary formation.

Dawn is designed to become the first spacecraft to orbit an object in the asteroid belt and the first to orbit two bodies after leaving Earth.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP Satellite team ward off recent space debris threat

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How citizen scientists took control of a spaceship

Oct 03, 2014

For decades, space exploration remained a domain within reach of only government agencies, who could command huge pools of expertise and public funds. Now the means by which our space endeavours are funded ...

The case for a mission to Mars' moon Phobos

Oct 02, 2014

Ask any space enthusiast, and almost anyone will say humankind's ultimate destination is Mars. But NASA is currently gearing up to go to an asteroid. While the space agency says its Asteroid Initiative will ...

Scientific instruments of Rosetta's Philae lander

Sep 23, 2014

When traveling to far off lands, one packs carefully. What you carry must be comprehensive but not so much that it is a burden. And once you arrive, you must be prepared to do something extraordinary to make ...

Recommended for you

'Twisted rope' clue to dangerous solar storms

13 hours ago

A "twisted rope" of magnetically-charged energy precedes solar storms that have the potential to damage satellites and electricity grids, French scientists said on Wednesday.

User comments : 0